11/11/11



A few nights before the wedding, I was in the garage until 3 AM, organizing and labeling all our boxes of stuff for the wedding. I worried about how this was going to all come together. Was it going to look like a garage sale? Would it have a cohesive look? Would all our hours of hard work be worth it?

Well, I worried for naught. The reception was crafty, magical, and beautiful. It was like a huge, wonderful dinner party with all our very best friends and family. We ate delicious food, laughed so hard during speeches, and danced up a storm during the crazy dance party.

I remember sitting at our little table for two (pictured above) right after we finished dinner and thinking, "I need to remember all of this. Every little detail. This is exactly what we wanted!" It was just so dream-like.

So, I am so excited to share this all with you. First, I'll explain some details, and then I'll show you heaps & heaps of photos of our favourite evening ever.

First up, our amazing seating chart. We came up with the idea together, but Mike executed the idea perfectly all by himself. Here's how it worked:

We collected over 25 different brass animals (from thrift stores and garage sales). It was quite the treasure hunt all summer. But we did it! We had an owl, a swan, a duck, a horse, a lion, and a snail to name just a few. Each table had a brass animal on it. To find out where you sat, you looked for your name (listed alphabetically) on the seating chart. As you can see, each name card also has a hand-drawn (by Mike) animal on it. You then had to go and find the brass animal that matched the drawing on your place card.

Mike tied each of the namecards to a old wire gate that came from my grandparents farm in Iowa. My grandma was just bewildered that we wanted to use her old "farm junk" at our wedding. We actually ended up using quite a few items from the farm!

Mike (ever the electrician) also hooked up some cool lights to that chart so that it was perfectly illuminated!

Quite a few people told me that doing my own flowers would be too stressful. So I decided to compromise and have a florist do my bouquet and the boutonnières. I wanted to do the vases on the table myself, so we got those flowers from her supplier.

We got all the flowers from the florist on the Thursday before the wedding and stored them in buckets of water in my in-laws crazy cold basement. Friday morning, a bunch of us ladies got together and put all the bouquets together. I had chosen a variety of white, yellow, and green flowers.

After all the vases were filled, we stored them again in the basement until Saturday around one. Some family brought them over to the church and set them out on the tables before the ceremony. Each table had about three or four little vases on it. It just looked so pretty!

My friends and I love baking, so I knew that I absolutely didn't want to pay someone else to do it. My friends graciously helped me bake up a storm the Wednesday before the wedding. My sister-in-law also made three beautiful cakes and dozens of cupcakes. We stored all desserts in fridges and freezers at our place. In between the ceremony and reception, my friends drove to our place and grabbed all the desserts and set them up.

Mike made fantastic labels for each of the desserts. I made the little cupcake toppers and the cake bunting.

We hauled in three pieces of furniture for the dessert "table". My mom helped paint the two dressers white. My mom also collected over a hundred vintage plates and forks.   This gives you a bit of an idea of what they looked like all together.

It was mighty tricky estimating how many desserts we needed, but I think it turned out well! Almost everything was polished off! Always a good sign :)

That's it for details. If you have questions about anything else, just ask in a comment & I'll respond there.

Thank you so much for sticking through all these wedding posts and for leaving such lovely, kind comments. You all are so kind!!

xoxo

53 comments:

  1. "Crafty, magical, and beautiful." yep. i think that's the best way to put it. congratulations, dearhearts.
    also, i think your seating chart idea is simply divine. i might try that for my wedding! also, the dessert table...oh my goshbubbles on pumpernickel, those looked amazing. i just want to reach into the screen and eat them.
    everything is so whimsical and passionate. wow. i love it all :))
    -jocee <3

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  2. so friggen beautiful! love all the details that you guys put into everything! very original ideas!!! :)
    looks like you had a blast!

    diane
    www.fromdianetoyou.com

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  3. this is epically beautiful! you are all so talented : ) & i love the intimate feeling it gives.

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  4. Oh Janice your wedding looks amazing! Congratulations!
    Everything looks just perfect! Full of cute ideas, the guest must have been thrilled too! And not to forget your dress! It is gorgeous and you look so beautiful as well!

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  5. all of these little details are just so fabulous! i can't get over it! perfection!
    and it all looks like it was filled with love, which is most important!
    xo TJ

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  6. This is seriously beautiful and magical beyond words!

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  7. just just beautiful. i love it all.

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  8. this seriously looks like the best wedding. in. the world.
    wow. i love every single detail.
    did mike actually write all those labels by hand??
    thanks so so much for sharing! it's been so fun seeing bits everyday :) and it's made me even more excited for my own wedding someday!

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  9. all of these decorations are so creative and lovely! i love the wildflowers in mason jars and the vintage furniture just sets up such a cozy environment. I love it!

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  10. my dearest cooper, you will not believe this but i have been following your blog for a while now and every time i see wedding pictures i just feel amazed how creative you guys got with this very special day that should be lived to the full leaving the best memories ever. i really hope i can do the same for mine. it looks like we will be getting married on a vineyard here in napa valley, i will let you know how it goes. congratulations once again. love you. rhea

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  11. just beautiful. so magical and cozy and simply lovely. thanks so much for sharing your day with all of us!

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  12. Aw Janis! I think this is my favorite post of your wedding photos! You guys are so creative! :)

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  13. ahh…it's amazing!! congratulations and thank you for sharing all of those wonderful photos!

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  14. I've just caught up with your blog, Congratulations!! it looks like you had such an incredible time, the pictures are amazing thanks for sharing :)

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  15. aahh i l-o-v-e it! especially the seating chart...thanks for all the pictures!

    this-real-heart.blogspot.com

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  16. so beautiful i want to cry. so happy that all of your hard work paid off!!

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  17. What an amazingly beautiful wedding reception! I'm so inspired! Did you have dinner as well as dessert? Did you have a band or just set up an ipod playlist? Questions! hehee

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  18. I must tell you how much I appreciate the care and craft that went into the typography on these posts. The wedding is beautiful and all (it really really is) but the way you're presenting it is giving me goose bumps. The good kind.

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  19. I am in awe of all those little details. It's all so charming and understated at the same time. Great job!

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  20. janis! this is gorgeous!! what a beautiful wedding!!

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  21. Amazing!!! I love all of the details, it's quite incredible. All of the hard work paid off! :)

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  22. oh. my. goodness. amazing. Happy wedded life!!!

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  23. @phoebe: yes, we had a dinner. it was extremely yummy italian! (still dreaming about the chicken in a balsamic reduction sauce! mm!)

    also, we set up an ipod playlist to the speakers. worked like a charm! we were able to play our fave tunes all night! mike also hooked up a strobe and crazy laser light which added to the fun :)

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  24. everything looked so beautiful & amazing!
    congratulations and all the best for you and Mike! God bless you!
    and I just LOVE your hair!

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  25. wow. magical. what a gorgeous setup!!!!

    great photos.

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  26. beautiful wedding, abolutely magic :)
    have a good life together.

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  27. this is so wowowow! i remember that feeling of finally seeing all your dreams come to life. and being better than you hoped.

    cheers on having a perfectly lovely day.

    xoxo

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  28. hello there, i stumbled upon your blog tonight and had to leave a comment. your wedding looked absolutely stunning, and so full of love and joy. i wish you both the best. a viewer in paris (france)

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  29. I'm new to your blog and absolutely love the aesthetic! Many congratulations on the wedding—it looks like it was magical :)

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  30. So beautiful. I love each and every detail. Beautiful photographs. Lovely couple. Congratulations!

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  31. Your wedding looks absolutely stunning. I have the biggest admiration for people who have DIY weddings. It's just so personal and I think your guests appreciate it and enjoy it so much more. My biggest congratulations to both of you - you looked absolutely glowing!

    Maria xx
    www.cheekypinktulip.blogspot.com

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  32. wow. this is just beautiful. i'm blown away by how personal the wedding seemed to be and how much of yourselves (all the diy) was put into it. amazing.

    have loved these peak into your special day.

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  33. Every little detail is well thought out and perfected. You guys did a phenomenal job. Thank you for sharing!!

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  34. Unbelievable! What a perfect day, Janis! I can't believe all the little details, and I can't believe you guys did it all yourselves. I'm so SOOOO impressed! I think this might be my favorite wedding, EVER! XO!!

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  35. I don't know you but I just really love your blog. And I have to ask...did you use the typewriters for something specific?

    Thanks!

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  36. @carrie: yes, we had two typewriters set up as our guestbook! it was so fun to read all the messages left for us :)

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  37. every single element from day to night blows my mind with joy! you really thought of every detail, i'm head over heels about the decorations. i mean a crocheted table cloth? whaaaat??? omg, it's blending all my favorite things and is a whimsical, retro journey roundup. the brass animal menagerie is a brilliant idea! AND that table full of the most yum-de-lum desserts is swoon-sational. can't imagine how good the kitchen smelled while you were all working your magic prepping for it!

    your friends and fams are so lovely, i think this must have all had you floating way above the ground and can imagine how safe and warm it was to come down and into your handsome ones arms at the end of the eve. fantastic array of memories!!!! i've loved this catch-up big time - Hawaii looked like a piece of heaven. wonderfully romantic wind up - here's to many more happy years to come!!! ♥

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  38. this is stunning. I have no other words. everything is so perfect and wonderfully personalized and just magical.

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  39. Your wedding is divine! Makes me want to get married again just to steal your amazing ideas :) May I have your permission to blog about your blog?? Also, can I use a couple of your photos in the same post? (all about YOUR wedding of course). xx

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  40. every bit of it looks like perfection!!!Hands down one of the most beautiful weddings I've seen yet! :) Congrats

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  41. I've enjoyed watching the details of this special day unfold. Lovely. Lovely stuff. Congrats again.

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  42. WOW! This looks spectacular. As a wedding guest you always appreciate all the time and effort the wedding couple has put into the preparation. Trust me, we notice these details and we feel appreciated. I love how unique your style is and how your friends came together to help you with the baking and decor. That's what it's all about - friends and family.

    Congratulations.

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  43. Sweet jesus, lady! These are so beautiful and love filled. Congrats!

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  44. o o o
    my heart is about to explode
    this is all so perfect
    my eyes can hardly believe it
    the seating chart? oh i LOVE that!
    i would have LOVED to search for a brass animal to know where to sit! how AWESOME!
    the graphic design is just fabulous
    i'm a little jealous i might add heehee

    xo
    ky

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  45. Congratulations!! Everything looks absolutely beautiful..

    http://tastearea.blogspot.com/

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  46. You are awesome. I thought about doing the amount of detail work you did, and it scared me way too much, so I did maybe half of the amount you did. How gorgeous though- the seating chart is pretty much the best thing ever!! Seriously, bravo to you two.

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  47. what a darling wedding! so glad you made it such a special day.

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  48. Hi, Bonjour :)
    Your pictures are absolutely fantastic ! And you look so awesome.
    Congratulations, Félicitations !

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  49. Good to know about this information on seating charts for wedding. I am searching for exemplary San Francisco wedding venues for arranging my nephew’s wedding. Decorated venue with beautiful flowers and had wonderful time at wedding.

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thanks so much for writing! i love hearing from you!

xo